Washburn leads Utah over Arizona State 60-55
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jason Washburn tied a career high with 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting and Utah defeated Arizona State 60-55 on Wednesday night.
The victory avenged a 55-54 overtime loss in Tempe on Jan. 2.
Washburn had 19 points, 18 rebounds, and four blocks in the first game.
His reverse layup put Utah ahead 54-53 late, then two free throws with 25 seconds remaining helped seal Wednesday's victory.
Carrick Felix led ASU with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Jahii (jah-HEE') Carson added 12 points but was called for a charge with 17 seconds left and the Sun Devils down by three.
Jared DuBois' ensuing free throws provided the final margin.
The Devils led 49-41 with 7:17 remaining but were outscored 19-6 the rest of the way.
ASU trailed 29-22 at halftime, tying its lowest first-half output.
Brewers report to camp, Braun not yet there
PHOENIX (AP) — Ryan Braun was not in the clubhouse Wednesday when the Milwaukee Brewers officially opened spring training with pitchers and catchers reporting.
While several position players checked in, including first baseman Corey Hart on crutches, the Brewers' first full-squad workout is not until Saturday.
Braun is expected to report Friday.
When Braun, the 2011 National League MVP does arrive, for the second straight spring training he will be asked about his name linked to performance enhancing drugs.
Braun said the person who ran the Florida clinic being investigated by Major League Baseball was used only as a consultant on his drug suspension appeal last year.
Barry Zito has bounce his step, swagger again
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Barry Zito scurried from drill to drill on day one with a smile and a pep that showed he's a new man heading into the final year of his contract.
He even seemed to enjoy the simple process of shadow throwing, with only a towel in his hand and no ball, as San Francisco's pitchers and catchers began spring training on a gorgeous, cool day at Scottsdale Stadium.
Zito suddenly has some nice momentum, not to mention the swagger that carried over from his comeback 2012 season.
Manager Bruce Bochy (BOH'-chee) has no doubts Zito will stay on a roll after he delivered two crucial wins during last fall's run to a second championship in three years for the franchise, including the opener of a World Series sweep against the Tigers.
Indians sign RHP Matsuzaka to minor-league deal
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Daisuke Matsuzaka (DYS'-kay maht-soo-ZAH'-kah) has officially joined the revitalized Cleveland Indians.
The Japanese right-hander, limited to just 18 starts the past two seasons because of elbow issues, signed a minor-league contract Wednesday. The 32-year-old is being reunited with manager Terry Francona, beginning his first season with the Indians.
The two spent several seasons together with the Boston Red Sox.
Matsuzaka will compete to win a spot in Cleveland's rotation. If he's added to the 40-man roster, Matsuzaka will make $1.5 million this season.
He can earn an additional $2.5 million in performance bonuses.
Matsuzaka went 50-37 in six seasons with the Red Sox, who signed him to a $52 million contract in 2007. He went a combined 33-15 in his first two seasons, but is only 17-22 since 2008.
He underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in 2011.
Saunders feels right at home with Mariners
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — The Seattle Mariners could use an experienced No. 2 or 3 starter in the rotation that is headlined by Felix Hernandez, and left-hander Joe Saunders hopes to be that dependable arm.
Saunders agreed on a one-year contract with the Mariners on Tuesday that could be worth up to $16.5 million over two years if he reaches all his personal bonuses, and he got right to work with his new teammates on Wednesday.
Acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in August, Saunders was the starter — and winner — in the Orioles' one-game wild-card playoff against the Texas Rangers. Still, Baltimore was not an option for 2013.
Saunders says he turned down several offers to sign with the Mariners because he liked the direction the organization is headed.
Rangers revamping bullpen around closer Nathan
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — The Texas Rangers have 36 pitchers in their spring training camp.
Many of them are relievers looking for work and that means closer Joe Nathan will be surrounded by some different faces in the bullpen.
Relievers Koji Uehara, Mike Adams, Mark Lowe and Scott Feldman all left in free agency. Left-hander Robbie Ross, who was 6-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 58 relief appearances as a rookie last season, is getting a chance this year to compete for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation.
Among the additions are Jason Frasor, the former Toronto reliever, and Josh Lindblom, acquired when the Rangers traded Michael Young to Philadelphia.
General manager Jon Daniels says he likes the collection of arms competing for jobs.
Their first workout was Wednesday.
Cueto says he's recovered from playoff injury
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) says he's fully recovered from the injury that scuttled his playoffs after only eight pitches.
The right-hander pulled muscles in his right side during the first game of the Cincinnati Reds' playoff series against the San Francisco Giants. He left the game in the first inning and never got back on a mound because of the injury, the first to a Reds starter all season.
The 19-game winner took time off after the season and says he's fine. He would like to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, but isn't listed on the preliminary roster.
Manager Dusty Baker would be happy if Cueto skips the WBC.
He'd like the team's ace to get into shape slowly.
White Sox manager Ventura focused on this season
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura says he turned down a one-year contract extension in October, wanting to concentrate on the two years remaining on his deal.
Ventura said Wednesday he will re-visit his future when his contract is up. He downplayed any suggestion that he doesn't want to be a long-term manager.
General manager Rick Hahn says Ventura simply wants to make sure he is "the right guy" when the time comes to discuss a new deal.